400 - Minimum number of clock hours of supervised clinical experience required of master's degree students
~2,000 - Number of children and adults served by clinical educators and students in 2015-16
~700 - Number of preschool children screened for communication disorders in 2015-16
$35,000 - Donation made by Orlando Magic player Victor Oladipo to support the UCF Listening Center's mission
10 - Number of counties served by FAAST's Atlantic Region Assistive Technology Demonstration Center
Communication Disorders Clinic
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida 3280 Progress Drive Suites 500, 300 Orlando, FL 32826-2215
What are swallowing disorders?
Swallowing difficulties may occur as a result of neurological
events such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and vocal cord
paralysis or generalized weakness. Speech therapy focuses on the
oral and pharyngeal stages of swallowing. Individuals with
esophageal problems are usually referred to a gastroenterologist or
otorhinolaryngologist. Symptoms related to swallowing disorders may
include one or more of the following:
coughing or choking after eating or drinking
wet or gurgly vocal quality
weak cough reflex
difficulty managing saliva
difficulty chewing or managing food in the mouth
multiple swallows to clear food
food or liquid coming out of the nose
weight loss related to poor food/fluid intake
frequent episodes of chest congestion or pneumonia
Clinical faculty members from the Communication Disorders
Clinic, in conjunction with an otorhinolaryngologist (Ear Nose and
Throat [ENT] physician), offer evaluations and treatment of oral
and pharyngeal stage swallowing difficulties.
What is the evaluation procedure?
Comprehensive evaluations are conducted to determine the cause
of the swallowing disorder. These evaluations include both
instrumentation as well as observation.
Evaluations may include:
oral mechanism exam
bedside swallowing examination
FEES (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Exam)- FEES is an exam that
evaluates the swallowing mechanism by passing a flexible fiberoptic
endoscope into the back of the mouth to visualize the swallow as
the client is fed foods of varying consistency. The speech-language
pathologist, in conjunction, with the ENT physician, can observe
the movement of food through the throat into the esophagus allowing
diagnosis of swallowing disorders.
Clients who received an evaluation for swallowing at another
location within the past three months should send the report along
with the UCF case history form to the Communication Disorders
In addition, clients need to send any relevant medical
evaluations including radiological reports (neuroimaging). This
will provide information useful in determining whether additional
evaluation procedures need to be completed.
What type of treatment is provided?
The Communication Disorders Clinic offers comprehensive therapy
services guided by evidence-based practices.
Treatment options include:
oral motor exercises for strengthening
diet recommendations and feeding techniques to promote safe
patient and caregiver education and training for safe swallow
protocol and recognition of signs and symptoms of aspiration
Frequency of therapy services ranges from once a week, multiple
sessions a week and/or intensive therapy for six weeks. Therapy
options will be discussed with each client after the completion of